An old guitarist saying is, "For
every musical problem, there is a mechanical solution." Guitarists
think nothing of putting clamps, capos, whammy bars, etc. on their
guitars to correct problems and create effects. Maybe that's why I love
the instrument so much.
Intonation is the ability of your guitar to note out properly as you play up the neck. Most acoustic guitars are set up at the factory so the High E and the A strings are OK and the other 4 strings are maybe close to OK. The Low E string suffers the most & usually notes out sharp as you play higher & higher up the neck. Even if your guitar is set up really well to begin with, a change in string gauges, lower tunings, string brands, or age itself can change things a lot.
This is a little experiment to try to
temporarily fix an intonation problem on the 6th or Low E string. Find
a good quality hardwood toothpick (not like the free soft ones you
usually get in a restaurant), break the point off so it won't hit the A
string when you slide it in and place the toothpick under the Low E
string approximately where the arrow shows in the picture. The diameter
of the toothpick should be large enough that a friction fit will keep
it there while playing. Now play the Low E string open and then at the
12th fret. If the 12th fret sounds too sharp, move the toothpick up the
neck a little and try it again. Do the opposite if the 12th fret sounds
flat. The 3rd fret or G tends to play flat so as usual a compromise
must be made while adjusting things. After you get things where you
want them, re-tune the Low E string and play! This toothpick
trick can actually be used on any string that notes out sharp at the
12th fret. A very useful trick for lower tunings when the
After playing a while, if you like this new guitar...and it WILL seem like a NEW guitar, consider getting your saddle intonated by a competent repairman. This is also a good temporary trick to use if you're using someone else's guitar that has a bad set up or if you're going to record yourself and you want things to sound just right.
Bob, Gman ( o )==#
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